- 1. India's manufacturing output reached to a 13-month high.
- 2. Croatia adopted the euro as its official currency on 1 January 2023.
- 3. Center proposed a self-regulatory mechanism for online gaming companies.
- 4. Ministry of Rural Development launched Prajwala Challenge inviting ideas, solutions, and actions.
- 5. Maithili Thakur has been appointed as the State Icon of Bihar by the Election Commission.
- 6. 192nd birth anniversary of Savitribai Phule celebrated on 3 January.
- 7. ‘SMART’ (Scope for Mainstreaming Ayurveda Research in Teaching Professionals) program has been launched.
- 8. Centre has formed 17 member high powered committee to discuss measures to protect Ladakh's unique culture, language and employment.
- 9. SBI, ICICI, and HDFC Bank remained systemically important banks.
- 10. India's unemployment rate risen to highest level in the last 16 months.
- 11. Supreme Court upheld Centre's 2016 the decision of demonetization of 500 and 1000 rupees.
- 12. Dexa test has been made mandatory by the BCCI for national team selection.
- 13. EC launched 'Mission-929' to increase voter turnout in Tripura to over 90%.
- 14. Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah laid the Foundation Stone of the Central Detective Training Institute (CDTI).
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Topic: Indian Economy
1. India's manufacturing output reached to a 13-month high.
- India’s manufacturing sector activity hit to a 13-month high in December.
- According to a monthly survey, strong demand conditions supported by healthy inflows of new business increased the manufacturing output.
- S&P Global India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was at 57.8 in December, it was up from 55.7 of November.
- The business conditions have improved to a great extent in the last two years.
- PMI data for December points towards an improvement in overall operating conditions for the 18th continued month.
- As per the survey, Advertising, product diversification and favourable economic conditions supported sales growth.
- For the third quarter of the current fiscal year, the PMI average was recorded highest in a year.
- The output of eight core sector industries grew by 5.4 percent in November.
- The cost pressures remained relatively low in December and the overall inflation rate was the second slowest since September 2020.
- PMI is a survey-based indicator of business conditions. It includes measures of business output, new orders, employment, costs, selling prices, etc.
- In PMI, score below 50 indicates contraction while score above 50 indicates expansion.
- The S&P Global India Manufacturing PMI is compiled by S&P Global.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: International News
2. Croatia adopted the euro as its official currency on 1 January 2023.
- The Euro will gradually replace the local currency kuna. The conversion rate is 1 euro for 7.53450 Croatian kuna.
- Croatia entered into the borderless Europe club and became the 27th nation of passport-free Schengen zone.
- Schengen Area zone facilitates free and unrestricted movement of people.
- It has become the 20th member of the Eurozone and it is the first expansion of the Eurozone after 2015.
- The adoption of the euro will help the economy of Croatia at the time which inflation is increasing worldwide.
- There is a fear that the adoption of euro can increase the cost of living as businesses round up prices when they convert them.
- Euro is commonly used in Croatia and around 80% of bank deposits are in euros.
- Internal air borders checks will be lifted from 26 March 2023.
- Croatia joined the European Union in 2013.
3. Center proposed a self-regulatory mechanism for online gaming companies.
- The Government has proposed a self-regulatory mechanism, mandatory verification of players, and permanent address in India for online gaming companies.
- On January 2, the draft of the Online Gaming Regulations has been released and consultation will begin next week.
- Final rules are expected by early February. The Ministry of Electronics and IT has invited public comments on the draft rules till January 17.
- Online gaming companies will come under the purview of the new Information Technology Rules 2021 for social media platforms.
- These include reasonable efforts to prevent users from hosting, displaying, uploading, publishing, and sharing online games that do not comply with Indian law.
- Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the government's job is to lay down rules for the safe and reliable operation of the Internet.
- He also said that online gaming intermediaries will be allowed, but if they are involved in betting, they will not be allowed.
- Gaming companies shall inform their users about their policy relating to withdrawal or refund of deposits, method of determination and distribution of winnings, fees and other charges payable, and KYC procedure for user account registration.
- The self-regulatory body will be registered with the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) and can register online games of online gaming intermediaries.
- Such bodies will also address grievances through mechanisms of grievance redress.
- The self-regulatory organization will determine whether it is a permitted game or not.
- The minister said that if you bet on the result of a game, it is prohibited under 3(b) 10 of the IT Rules.
- Children under 18 would need parental consent to play these games.
Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
4. Ministry of Rural Development launched Prajwala Challenge inviting ideas, solutions, and actions.
- Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) has launched the Prajwala Challenge with the aim to invite ideas, solutions, and actions that can transform the rural economy.
- It is one of the platforms where ideas are invited from individuals, social enterprises, start-ups, the private sector, and community-based organizations that have the potential to transform the rural economy.
- On 29 December, Shri Shailesh Kumar Singh, Secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development launched the Prajwala Challenge in New Delhi.
- The Mission is looking for ideas and solutions around Innovative Technology Solution, Inclusive Growth, Value Chain Interventions, Enhanced Women Entrepreneurship, Cost effective Solutions, Sustainability, place-based employment, localised models etc.
- Applications for this have been invited from December 29, 2022 to January 31, 2023.
- The shortlisted ideas will be accepted by the Mission and provided mentorship support from an expert panel and incubation support to scale up.
- Top 5 ideas will be rewarded with Rs 2 lakh each.
- It is one of the flagship poverty alleviation programs of the Ministry of Rural Development.
- It aims to create efficient and effective institutional platforms for the rural poor, thereby enabling them to enhance household income through sustainable livelihood enhancement and better access to financial services.
- The Mission has so far covered more than 8 crores 70 lakh women in self-help groups and their federations.
Topic: State News/ Bihar
5. Maithili Thakur has been appointed as the State Icon of Bihar by the Election Commission.
- On 2 January, the Folk singer has been appointed as the state icon.
- Thakur was recently selected for the Sangeet Natak Akademi's Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar for 2021 for his contribution to the folk music of Bihar.
- The singer will create awareness among voters for their participation in the electoral process.
- Born in Bihar's Madhubani district, Maithili, along with her two brothers, was trained by her grandfather and father in folk, Hindustani classical music, harmonium, and tabla.
- She has performed traditional Bihar folk songs in Maithili, Bhojpuri, and Hindi.
Topic: Personality in News
6. 192nd birth anniversary of Savitribai Phule celebrated on 3 January.
- She was India's first female teacher to empower women and the untouchables via education and literacy.
- Savitribai Phule:
- Savitribai Phule was born in Naigaon, Maharashtra.
- She was born on January 3, 1831, and died On March 10, 1897.
- She was the wife of Jyotirao Phule, who was also an activist and social reformer.
- India's first school for girls, “Bhide Wada”, was founded in Pune in 1848 by Savitribai with the help of her husband Jyotiba Phule.
- She is mainly remembered as Gyanjyoti Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule.
- They also set up schools for Dalits and low-caste women and encouraged all to attend school by offering stipends.
- Savitribai started Mahila Seva Mandal in 1852 to create awareness about women's rights.
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Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
7. ‘SMART’ (Scope for Mainstreaming Ayurveda Research in Teaching Professionals) program has been launched.
- The SMART program aims to boost scientific research in priority healthcare research areas through Ayurveda colleges and hospitals.
- The program has been launched by the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) and the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS).
- NCISM and CCRAS are two prominent institutions under the Ministry of Ayush, Government of India for regulating medical education and conducting scientific research respectively.
- Vaidya Jayant Deopujari, Chairman, of NCISM, and Prof. Rabinarayan Acharya, Director General, CCRAS launched the program in the presence of Prof. B. S. Prasad, President of the Board of Ayurveda, NCISM, and other senior officials.
- Prof. Vaidya Rabinarayan Acharya said that the proposed initiative is conceptualised with an objective to identify, support, and promote innovative research ideas in healthcare research areas including Osteoarthritis, Iron Deficiency Anaemia, etc.
- Prof. B. S. Prasad mentioned that the 'SMART' program would definitely motivate the teachers to take up projects in the specified areas of healthcare research.
8. Centre has formed 17 member high powered committee to discuss measures to protect Ladakh's unique culture, language and employment.
- Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai is the chairman of the committee.
- The members of the committee are Ladakh Lieutenant Governor RK Mathur, MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, Chairmans of Leh and Kargil Hill councils, representatives of Apex Body Leh, Kargil Democratic Alliance and nominee officials of the Home ministry.
- The committee will discuss the measures to protect Culture and Language considering the location and strategic importance of Ladakh.
- It will also discuss measures to protect land and employment for the people, inclusive development and employment generation.
- The committee will also discuss measures related to the empowerment of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils of Leh and Kargil.
Topic: Banking System
9. SBI, ICICI, and HDFC Bank remained systemically important banks.
- The top three Indian lenders - State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, and HDFC Bank continue to be domestic systemically important banks (D-SIBs).
- RBI places these banks in appropriate buckets upon their Systemic Importance Scores (SISs).
- ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank have been placed in the first bucket while the SBI has been placed in the third bucket.
- ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank have to maintain additional CET1 at 0.20 per cent of their RWAs.
- SBI has to maintain Additional Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) at 0.60 per cent of its Risk Weighted Assets (RWAs).
- The additional CET1 requirement for D-SIBs has become fully effective from 1 April 2019.
- In 2014, RBI had issued the framework for dealing with Domestic Systemically Important Banks.
- RBI is required to disclose the name of the bank designated as D-SIB under the D-SIB framework.
- SBI and ICICI Bank had become D-SIBs in 2015 and 2016. HDFC Bank was also classified as a D-SIB in 2017.
- SIBs are perceived as ‘Too Big To Fail’ and their functioning is critical for essential banking services in the Indian Economy.
Topic: Indian Economy
10. India's unemployment rate risen to highest level in the last 16 months.
- According to the data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the overall unemployment rate has increased from 8 per cent in November to 8.3 per cent in December,
- The urban unemployment rate has increased from 8.96% in November to 10.09% in December.
- The rate of rural unemployment has decreased from 7.55% in November to 7.44% in December.
- The unemployment rate had decreased to 7.2% in the July-September quarter.
- The unemployment rate has risen to 37.4% in Haryana, followed by 28.5% in Rajasthan and 20.8% in Delhi.
Topic: Indian Polity
11. Supreme Court upheld Centre's 2016 the decision of demonetization of 500 and 1000 rupees.
- A five-judge constitution bench dismissed 58 petitions challenging the central government's demonetisation decision.
- The bench headed by Nazeer said that this decision is of the economic policies of the government, so it cannot be changed.
- Delivering the verdict on the basis of majority, Justice B.R. Gavai said that the decision of the central government is correct, because before this there was a consultation between the government and the Reserve Bank.
- Justice S. Abul Nazir, B.R. Gavai, A.S. Bopanna, V.P. Ram Subrahmanyam and B.V. Nagaratna's five-judge constitution bench was hearing several petitions challenging the Centre's decisions.
- Justice Nagaratna dissented from the judgment.
- The government had told the court in an affidavit that the objective of demonetisation was to curb circulation of fake currency, black money, tax evasion and funding of terrorist activities.
12. Dexa test has been made mandatory by the BCCI for national team selection.
- During the Team India performance review meeting ahead of the ODI World Cup 2023, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) made some key decisions.
- The Yo-Yo test and DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) will now be mandatory for national team selection, according to the apex board.
- Previously, only a yo-yo test was mandatory before selection, but now the DEXA Test is also mandatory for national team selection.
- The DEXA Test is now required for injured players who want to come back to the national team.
- After achieving fitness, now the players will have to undergo a fitness test and a special type of X-ray checkup.
- The yo-yo test is an aerobic endurance fitness test that involves running between markers spaced 20 meters apart at increasing speed.
- DEXA Test (Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry):
- It is also called the bone density test.
- The Dexa scan measures bone strength using X-ray technology.
- In addition, this test can predict the likelihood of any type of bone fracture before it occurs.
- Through this test, information about calcium and other minerals present in the bones is obtained.
- In this scientific method two types of beams are used one is high energy beam and the other is low energy beam.
- The test measures bone mineral content and thickness as well.
- A chart provided by the X-ray can be used by doctors to calculate bone density.
- In another significant move, BCCI mandated that emerging players will have to play enough domestic seasons to be eligible for national team selection.
Topic: State News/ Tripura
13. EC launched 'Mission-929' to increase voter turnout in Tripura to over 90%.
- The Election Commission (EC) has launched the 'Mission-929' to achieve a voter turnout of more than 90% in Tripura.
- EC is focussing on 929 polling booths across Tripura. In the 2018 assembly polls, these booths recorded a voter turnout of less than 89 per cent.
- Mission-929’s aim is to aware people to vote in the upcoming assembly polls.
- Poll officials will also visit senior citizens and persons with disability, and appeal to them to cast their votes.
- EC will make a proper arrangement like ramps, wheelchairs and separate queues for persons with disability.
- EC is also working on 'Mission Zero Poll Violence' to make the assembly elections peaceful.
- EC will also organize constituency-wise workshops to achieve the target of the mission.
Topic: National News
14. Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah laid the Foundation Stone of the Central Detective Training Institute (CDTI).
- Central Detective Training Institute (CDTI) will be established at Devanahalli in Karnataka.
- He said that the CDTI will also serve the forensic needs of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa and the UT of Daman-Diu. It will also fullfil the need of CAPFs.
- He also inaugurated the residential and administrative complexes of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
- He said that ITBP has also played a crucial role in fighting against Left Wing Extremism.
- Recently, the e-Awas portal has been launched for CRPF. Around 35 lakh health cards have been distributed under the Ayushman CAPF scheme.
- BPR&D has played a key role in conducting research for the police and Central Armed Forces.